Nutrition While Riding

thescouselander
thescouselander Posts: 549
edited May 2012 in Road beginners
I'm not usually one for eating too much while riding but I have been finding that my legs start giving up on longer rides. I can only assume this is because I'm not taking enough nutrition while riding. I decided to buy a few bits and pieces to try out including energy gels and some energy drink mix. I've heard its possible to over do it with these things though and that having too many carbs can cause "GI Distress".

How much of this stuff should I consume. Is it a case of having the gels or the drink or can I mix both on a ride?
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Comments

  • Mike39496
    Mike39496 Posts: 414
    I usually take out bottles of squash, some proper food (like soreen, nutri-grain) just something that is actually real and then a gel just in case I bonk miles away from home to get me there. Energy drink should be alright though, depends what's in it.
  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221
    Lots of different ways of doing it.

    First 'GI Distress'... I just find that with some folks, if they eat too much on a ride, they can get the squits. Me, things may get a bit windy but that's it.

    A lot will take bananas, flapjacks and malt-loaf - which are nicer to eat. But if you want to do sports carbs:

    Generally, and simplified, your body can only 'burn' about 70g of carbs an hour (much more complicated than this - check the training forum for details about 4:1 mixes; body weight issues etc). So no need to consume more than this. You can use a mix of carb drink, gels, sports bars, carb chews etc. to get to this figure. It's a matter of picking ones you like.

    Me, personally, I drink 'Zero 7' which contains no carbs - only salts to help with sweat loss. I use ZipVit7 gels as these are about double the carbs of other gels - but some find them a bit too large and thick. Being larger though, I only need to use about one an hour. I also take real food on longer runs (100 miles) just for the variation and to eat something proper. Malt loaf is perfect.
  • ShutUpLegs
    ShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
    Mike39496 wrote:
    some proper food (like soreen, nutri-grain) just something that is actually real

    May be a binana and some figs.
    Electrolyte replacement drink
  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221
    'Zero 7'?!? Sorry, I'm getting dinner-party music mixed up with sports nutrition... I meant High5 Zero.
  • iPete
    iPete Posts: 6,076
    Take a mix... gels, flapjacks, bananas etc.
  • amaferanga
    amaferanga Posts: 6,789
    If these are longer rides than you're used to it's possible that what you are experiencing is simple fatigue.

    I don't think filling yourself with expensive energy drinks and gels is the answer though. Just eat proper food. Cheaper and as effective. Save the gels for racing and emergencies.
    More problems but still living....
  • singleton
    singleton Posts: 2,523
    Mike39496 wrote:
    (like soreen, nutri-grain)

    Soreen gives me really bad wind :oops:
  • team47b
    team47b Posts: 6,425
    How long are you riding for?

    Do you eat a 'proper meal' before setting off?

    How much water do you drink before and during a ride?

    How often/far do you ride?
    my isetta is a 300cc bike
  • slowondefy2
    slowondefy2 Posts: 348
    Electrolyte/carbohydrate drinks make a huge difference for me, and they're quite convenient. If I want to take food (rides over 50 miles) I usually use Co-op Eccles Cakes (a bit crumby though!). I find Soreen difficult and unpleasant to chew.
  • rick_chasey
    rick_chasey Posts: 74,708
    Eat before you ride - banana's during.
  • team47b wrote:
    How long are you riding for?

    Do you eat a 'proper meal' before setting off?

    How much water do you drink before and during a ride?

    How often/far do you ride?


    The rides I'm thinking of are longer club runs which are about 60 or 70 miles by the time I have gone from and to the house. Not sure what you mean by a proper meal but I will be leaving early morning so will have had brakefast. I'll also have something to eat at the half way point. I usually take something like a flapjack with me for during the ride and water to drink but it just doesn't quite hit the spot hence why I'm looking for a bit of an extra boost.
  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221
    Sounds like you just need a gel or two towards the end of the ride - maybe a caffeinated one?
  • DavidJB
    DavidJB Posts: 2,019
    No one should taking bloody gels on steady rides!

    Real food...flapjacks, bananas...don't buy into all the hype, I have Multodextrin in 1 of my bottles and water in the other for a long ride, multo only in a race. You can get 5kg of that for £15 off from http://www.myprotein.com/uk/
  • amaferanga
    amaferanga Posts: 6,789
    The rides I'm thinking of are longer club runs which are about 60 or 70 miles by the time I have gone from and to the house. Not sure what you mean by a proper meal but I will be leaving early morning so will have had brakefast. I'll also have something to eat at the half way point. I usually take something like a flapjack with me for during the ride and water to drink but it just doesn't quite hit the spot hence why I'm looking for a bit of an extra boost.

    How many of these rides have you done recently? Sounds to me like you're eating enough. Gels won't make you fitter....
    More problems but still living....
  • amaferanga wrote:
    The rides I'm thinking of are longer club runs which are about 60 or 70 miles by the time I have gone from and to the house. Not sure what you mean by a proper meal but I will be leaving early morning so will have had brakefast. I'll also have something to eat at the half way point. I usually take something like a flapjack with me for during the ride and water to drink but it just doesn't quite hit the spot hence why I'm looking for a bit of an extra boost.

    How many of these rides have you done recently? Sounds to me like you're eating enough. Gels won't make you fitter....

    I don't think its a fitness issue. I usually get back to the house and perk up pretty quickly after a cup of tea and a cake. I just seem to lose energy and start feeling the bonk towards the end of the ride.
  • NITR8s
    NITR8s Posts: 688
    Dont bother with gels, just take jelly babies and Fig rolls. Fig rolls are your main nutrition and jelly babies are for when you bonk. They work just as well, are alot nice, fit into your backpockets nice, make no mess and there is no rubbish to deal with afterwards.

    Also its a lot,lot,lot cheaper.
  • NITR8s wrote:
    Dont bother with gels, just take jelly babies and Fig rolls. Fig rolls are your main nutrition and jelly babies are for when you bonk. They work just as well, are alot nice, fit into your backpockets nice, make no mess and there is no rubbish to deal with afterwards.

    Also its a lot,lot,lot cheaper.

    I might try that sometime. I've already got some gels now though so I'll try those first.
  • NITR8s
    NITR8s Posts: 688
    I compared the carbs in jelly babies to gels, and there is acutally more in jelly babies, then their is in the gels. They only downfall is you dont get caffienne or salts in them. But if you use a sports drink you can get your salts from there and caffiene is only good for a boost near the end of a long ride, so what you can do is have caffiene based drink in your second bottle(let it go flat, as they are usually fizzy) and drink for an added boost near the end of your ride.
  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221
    One difference with gels and jelly babies - is that most gels contain maltodextrins and not just glucose/sucrose/dextrose (same thing). Maltodextrin has a higher lower glicemic load than the simple sugars - it takes longer for your body to process so you don't get the sugar rush and low you do with sugary sweets/chocolate etc.
  • Raffles
    Raffles Posts: 1,137
    For me, before ride I eat soreen, during ride I eat jelly babies and drink tesco version of lucozade. Does me just fine.
    2012 Cannondale CAAD 8 105
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Agree that Jelly Babies are a great 'sugar kick' but insufficient for long-term nutrition for longer rides. I'll be riding 250km tomorrow down and around the Isle of Wight with some mates - there'll be a couple of stops but it will basically need 6 bottles, 6 gels, 6 energy bars and stuffing my face at the two stops and tradition has it, a fish-supper on the ferry from Ryde back to Portsmouth. 10,000 calorie day - about 30 bags of Jelly Babies!
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • pipipi
    pipipi Posts: 332
    IOW sounds a great ride. Have fun!
  • amaferanga
    amaferanga Posts: 6,789
    Monty Dog wrote:
    Agree that Jelly Babies are a great 'sugar kick' but insufficient for long-term nutrition for longer rides. I'll be riding 250km tomorrow down and around the Isle of Wight with some mates - there'll be a couple of stops but it will basically need 6 bottles, 6 gels, 6 energy bars and stuffing my face at the two stops and tradition has it, a fish-supper on the ferry from Ryde back to Portsmouth. 10,000 calorie day - about 30 bags of Jelly Babies!

    10,000 calories to ride 250km? Yeah right. That'd be e.g. ~270W for 10 hours.
    More problems but still living....
  • navrig
    navrig Posts: 1,352
    I am prone to cramps on and off the bike so am always looking for a cure.

    Prior to last Weekend's Etape I took a couple of rennies each day for a few days. On the ride I had a bottle of High5 electrolyte and a bottle with carbs.

    I started crappy quite early in the route but was able to ride through most of it using the electrolyte drink. I did take an SIS gel and noticed the cramp reduced for a while. A few miles later I took another and again the cramp subsided. Not sure if it was psychosomatic or if the gels actually helped. I had a few including 2 with caffeine. I was as high as a kite at the finish.
  • Raffles
    Raffles Posts: 1,137
    I have to come clean and state my lack of faith in the powdered drinks you can buy at a cycling store. I used to believe that I needed them if I was going to out and knock out 50 - 60 miles. Id place an order with wiggle or go to my LBS and get the big drum of powdered high 5 that you mix with water, id roll my eyes and take a deep breath as I made payments of £25 each time. Then I discovered that if I eat the right stuff pre-ride and bought the tesco own brand lucozade which I let go flat the night before a ride............I could get along just dandy and the drink cost me 89p for 1 litre bottle. I said never again to handing out a lot of money for a sports drink when a 90p soreen loaf and 89p drink did the job for me at a level I couldnt make a single complaint with.

    Stopped buying the High5 last year , saved myself a fair amount of cash and am totally enjoying my cycling these days.
    2012 Cannondale CAAD 8 105
  • craker
    craker Posts: 1,739
    Yeah I used to be fixated on the isotonic drinks stuff - wouldn't consider a 50 mile ride without it. My new fix is hydration tablets in the water bottle - Nuuns or similar. Otherwise I did a long ride today (100 miles 8) on breakfast, assorted sweets, a bit of malt loaf and a cafe stop. (tea, cake and two slices of bread and butter). Came home with food to spare...
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    pipipi wrote:
    IOW sounds a great ride. Have fun!

    The road surfaces on the island are truly dreadful. My wife comes from East Cowes and we have to go back every Christmas and the road surface gets worse every year.

    Never considered taking the bike over with me but I suppose -4temp and frost and snow are never a draw :)
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • buzzwold
    buzzwold Posts: 197
    Raffles wrote:
    I have to come clean and state my lack of faith in the powdered drinks you can buy at a cycling store. I used to believe that I needed them if I was going to out and knock out 50 - 60 miles. Id place an order with wiggle or go to my LBS and get the big drum of powdered high 5 that you mix with water, id roll my eyes and take a deep breath as I made payments of £25 each time. Then I discovered that if I eat the right stuff pre-ride and bought the tesco own brand lucozade which I let go flat the night before a ride............I could get along just dandy and the drink cost me 89p for 1 litre bottle. I said never again to handing out a lot of money for a sports drink when a 90p soreen loaf and 89p drink did the job for me at a level I couldnt make a single complaint with.

    Stopped buying the High5 last year , saved myself a fair amount of cash and am totally enjoying my cycling these days.

    I agree, when I've tried some of this stuff I've not found any appreciable difference. In fact, some of the gels I've tried had no impact at all. However sticking with my High5 Caffeine tabs for my drink as the caffeine does help. Other than that, I'd go with off the shelf granola type bars, small packs of Haribo, bananas, cake etc. Re discovered Dextrose tablets in the local Sainsbury's but jury's still out on them. As I'm not trying to win the Tour de France, stopping to admire the scenery also helps
    Someone's just passed me again
  • nickel
    nickel Posts: 476
    Regarding caffeinated gels, im not sure how much difference they make if you already consume a lot of caffeine, I like coffee, a lot, and caffeinated gels make bugger all difference compared to normal gels when I use them.

    Oh and whilst I generally eat real food on long rides I do find a gel or two useful towards the end of the ride when I simply can't be bothered to chew real food like flapjack, I know it sounds silly but after 6 hours of flapjack, cereal bars etc a gel can be kind of refreshing.
  • navrig
    navrig Posts: 1,352
    Nickel wrote:
    Regarding caffeinated gels, im not sure how much difference they make if you already consume a lot of caffeine, I like coffee, a lot, and caffeinated gels make bugger all difference compared to normal gels when I use them.

    Oh and whilst I generally eat real food on long rides I do find a gel or two useful towards the end of the ride when I simply can't be bothered to chew real food like flapjack, I know it sounds silly but after 6 hours of flapjack, cereal bars etc a gel can be kind of refreshing.

    I eventually get a craving for savoury. I had a ham and mustard roll half way round the Ken Laidlaw last year. If there had been pies or sausage rolls available..........